Friday Five: Journaling for Growth

book-758384_1280When I began this blog, I had visions of a blog about all things journaling. I’ve been a journaler since I purchased my first journal when I was about 13 years old. I still remember that book. It was blue satin and had birds on it. There was a slightly Asian theme. I don’t have that book anymore, but I still remember the joy I had of writing down my thoughts and memories.

I haven’t been a faithful journaler though I have always had a journal somewhere in my possession. There were months, even years where I didn’t write a single word. I never gave up on it.

A couple of years ago, I began to write in my journal daily. I have been dedicated to this practice as I have seen change and growth in my life. I’ve blogged about some of those changes. Journaling is one way to make and document changes in life.

I am not the only one who believes this. Julia Cameron, The Artist Way, also believes in journaling. She as a practice called ‘morning pages’ in which she encourages freewriting first thing in the morning. Her recommendation is about three pages of unedited, free flowing words. While this isn’t always easy, it is a great practice.

Sometimes getting started on journaling is difficult. The blank page can be intimidating and beginning is so hard. One way to get past this, until you develop a habit, is to use prompts. I believe I used prompts for the first couple of months. Now, I simply begin with those thoughts I wake up with, or are just on my mind a lot, and go from there.

Today’s Friday Five is dedicated to prompts. I would encourage anyone interested in journaling to use one or more of these. These prompts can be repeated. In fact, one journaling technique I’ve read about and used is to write to the same prompt each day for a week. That is the great thing about journaling. There is no wrong way to fill a notebook.

On to the prompts:

1. What’s great about your life?

2. I remember…

3. My favorite day…

4. Find a photo of yourself as a child. Think back to when you were that age. What did you dream about or hope for?

5. What I am really afraid of is …

My journal isn’t fancy, not for my morning pages. I use ordinary school composition books. They are large enough and lay flat to make the writing easier. Use whatever you prefer. Journals are one of those things that I get excited about when I see though I tend to prefer simple ones now.

For the people I work with I encourage them to begin with a 5-minute timer. You can go longer if things are going well, but 5 minutes isn’t a lot of time out of your day to complete some self-care. Journaling is most definitely about taking care of yourself.

And, it’s important to take care of yourself – after all – if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?

4 thoughts on “Friday Five: Journaling for Growth

  1. You know I’ve been journaling for many years, my problem now is do I continue to save them or burn them? I have a bookcase full of them and I’m sure no one wants to read them after I’m gone.
    I usually write my prayers and thoughts of the day always remembering my children, grands, and family. It’s a habit, some days I miss, but not often.
    Let me know what to do with them.
    Love you.

  2. Just getting back in the habit of daily journaling. Sometimes it’s distracting to journal when you itch to work on that writing project, but I keep reminding myself that sometimes gold nuggets surface when you least expect them. Thanks for thoughts on journaling.

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